Murtada Alsaif

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Murtada is a practicing pharmacist with over 10 years experience in the industry and is currently working for a pharmaceutical consultancy. He gained his MPharm at the School of Pharmacy, UCL, and has recently completed a PhD in Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. His PhD project attempted to proteomically characterise bipolar disorder and cross-compare the protein signature in the brain and the periphery. He has contributed to several published research articles in peer-reviewed journals.

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Should people with schizophrenia be offered depot antipsychotics as first line treatment?

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Murtada Alsaif reports on a new nationwide Swedish cohort study that explores the real-world effectiveness of oral and depot antipsychotics for people with schizophrenia.

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Diet and depression: can we eat our way out of clinical depression? The ‘SMILES’ trial

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Murtada Alsaif chews over the SMILES RCT of dietary improvement for adults with major depression, which reports encouraging results for healthy diet in people with depression.

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Antidepressants for bipolar depression: weighing up the benefits and harms

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Murtada Alsaif considers a recent systematic review on the safety and efficacy of adjunctive second-generation antidepressant therapy with a mood stabiliser or an atypical antipsychotic in acute bipolar depression.

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ITI-007 for schizophrenia

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Murtada Alsaif summarises a recent 4-week long phase II randomised controlled trial of ITI-007 for the treatment of schizophrenia, which contains some positive results for this novel intervention.

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Antipsychotics for treatment-resistant schizophrenia

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Murtada Alsaif summarises a recent network meta-analysis, which looks at the efficacy, acceptability and tolerability of antipsychotics for treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

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Is it bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder?

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Murtada Alsaif considers the challenges facing psychiatrists in diagnosing bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. He reports on a recent qualitative study that explores the practical experience of psychiatrists and nurses and concludes that clinical diagnostic practice cannot reliably distinguish the two conditions.

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Biological pathways, antipsychotics and schizophrenia

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Murtada Alsaif summarises a small cohort study that uses shotgun mass spectrometry proteomic profiling to unravel the molecular pathways involved with antipsychotic response in people with schizophrenia.

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Improving diagnosis of bipolar disorder: can blood-based diagnostic panels help?

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Can blood-based diagnostic panels help us reduce the misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment often experienced by people with bipolar disorder? Murtada Alsaif reviews a recent retrospective study that has some encouraging findings for biologically identifying the disease.

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